Saturday, May 16, 2015

Up for a Swing?

It's been a day.  It's been a week, actually.  A rather anxiety ridden week.  Today was the first day I felt like I had the space to breathe on my own, without relying on my team's presence.  So what did I do?  I sat in my swing.  I sat in my swing for a long time. 
Made me think of this poem:

How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
River and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside--

Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown--
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!

--Robert Louis Stevenson

It was a favorite poem of mine as a child.  The illustration is one by my favorite childhood illustrator, too.  This particular illustrator brought multicultural illustrations into her books before it was "the thing" to do.

Back to *my* swing.  I got it almost two years ago.  I bought the stand first, as there was no place to hang a swing inside my house.  I bought an inexpensive rope swing for it, too, with the intention of putting it outside in the spring.  That never happened.

Instead, I ended up getting a beautiful wicker cocoon like swing and keeping it in my living room.  And I love it.  I don't use it enough, though.  Or at least I didn't.

As of late, with my anxiety at an all time high, I've been working to find ways to self-soothe that don't involve the presence of my uber-calming team.  It hasn't been easy.  So far, Xanax is a guarantee (but I've been out of it for weeks,) as is sleep (which isn't always feasible.)  I know there are other things I can do, my dietitian has been encouraging me to take walks, which I have been.  But sometimes dragging myself out the door even for a short dog walk is rough.  Crawling over to my swing is doable.  There's something about the gentle sway, the cocoon-like shape of the swing, and the way I can curl up in it that provides a sort of calm that my nervous system really needs.

How do you self-soothe?  I'm open to new ideas and I'd love to know what works for others!

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